Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fun Proposal

I'm back from vacation, still on the apartment hunt and I hope to have good news for you all soon. In the meantime, you know how I feel about a good proposal. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I'm here...


... until further notice.

I'LL HOLLA!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Singles Night

You all know I'm open to doing all kinds of things in search of love. The Essence Dating Challlenge (which was a fail) speed dating (which was a set of interesting fails), Match.com (cyber-fail) and a hosts of other [so far failed] tactics.

I'm a firm believer that I'm not going to meet my husband by sitting at home on the couch, so I have to put myself out there, be open to love from different places and try new things.

So... there's a grocery store in my neighborhood called Marketplace. Their selection is small and their prices are high AND Trader Joe's just came to the neighborhood. In order to innovate they've done a ton of things.

- They boast the largest organic produce section in the neighborhood
- They have grocery giveaways
- They have wine tastings
- They have Singles Night *record scratch* WHAT?!?!?!

What exactly does "Singles Night" look like at the grocery store. As much as I would like to believe that I can meet my husband at the grocery store, I have never met a man there. Then I think what type of desperate person would go to a singles night at a grocery store and what will said desperate person think of me if I go.

What are we going to do? Test the freshness of the cantaloupe? Discuss the benefits of eating Wheaties vs. Special K? When I heard the idea it seemed completely asinine to me, but I can't say that I'm wasn't intrigued.

So what do you all think happened? Do you think I went? If you were single, would you go to a "Singles Night" at a struggling grocery store?

I'll tell you more after I get some answers to these questions.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cover Your Bum...

Disclaimer: Posts like this make me lose my male readers. Brad was mad that I was talking about budgets and bikini #KanyeShrug... Ah well.

Now that I can no longer wear jeans to work, the sheath and the pencil skirt have been resurrected out of my closet and this is causing some true undergarments struggles for me. I don't want my panty lines showing, BUT I must wear drawls. [Side note: If you know a woman who doesn't wear drawls, she either has wet pants or a dry vagina. Both are #realissues. #NoThankYou]

I digress. Let's talk practically: problems and solutions

- I tried thongs, g-strings, v-strings... [they are uncomfortable for more than four hours at a time AND] you can still see them under my clothes. How is that winning?

- I tried Victoria's Secret no-show panties... THEY SHOW. They also flatten my butt more than they should for a girl who's already starting with a small booty. It's just WRONG.

- I tried boy shorts. You can see the seams on the bottom of those joints. It makes it look like I have a long white tee tucked into my crotch.

I damn near need to wear biking shorts under my skirts and dresses to prevent panty lines from showing and biking shorts are bulky. Where can one even find a biking short in 2012. I'll wait.

Who started this "I-don't want to see your drawls" phenomenon? Probably a man. What's wrong with panty lines and why am I subject to trying on a million pair of unmentionables in order make sure people have no evidence of the fact that I have them on. I can't mention 'em. You don't want to see them, but they must be there.

Am I going to be relagated to wearing hammer pants for the rest of my life? There HAS to be a solution. Ladies, who has some good suggestions for brands of seamless underwear that you actually cannot see? Maidenform? La Perla? Good ol' Hanes Her Way? Someone help me out.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dirty Little Secret

I have a dirty little secret... who's ready: I really don't care if there are dishes in the sink if I can get a good night's sleep. And on that same note, I see no value whatsoever in making up my bed everyday. And to take it a step further my clothes have a place, wherever I am when I take them off, that's where they belong.

Oh yes, your girl is messy. I'll leave open boxes of Cheese its all over the damn house. I rarely if ever screw the cap to both of my contacts, just one... There's no rhyme or reason, but mostly, I just don't get a lot of excitement out of having a pristine domicile if it makes my body ache.

I work hard, I clean light... on weekdays anyway. Now, Saturday mornings, yeah, I get it in.

I live alone. No big deal right? Well...

These damn apartment agents keep trying to show my place. I hadn't gotten a call in about three days so I thought it was rented. Then the calls started again. I don't know what that's about. Since I'm in the middle of my own apartment search I SHOULD empathize the apartment shoppers. I don't.

Listen, no one needs to SEE the mess that is my life, but me. When guests come over I clean. The first 3 or 4 times a new dude stops by, I clean. I'm not about to keep an immaculate house for some strangers. I can't go fam.

I have two suitcases packed right now and I can't remember if I took the trash out. I changed my outfit this morning and I don't quite remember where I put the separates that didn't make it. LOL! And folks want to know if they can show my place. Man, hell naw.

The catch 22 is that most people can't see themselves living in a junky place, so even if they show my place no one's going to rent it. I don't too much care, but I would like for people to quit calling asking for tee-osha, driving my blood pressure sky high, trying to get a peek into the tornado that is my apartment.

When you were looking for a home or apartment have you ever walked in and been "ugh, this dude/chic is a mess. I'm not living here?" I know it's not just me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lunch...

Ok, I have a question about lunch. There are about 40 people who work here. I have three cube mates, two managers, and a few other random team members that I work closely with, but I rarely invite any of them to lunch.

There are a couple of reasons.

1. Everyone doesn't take a lunch everyday, but I'm new [and I'm hungry], so I'm going to lunch unless I have a meeting. I don't want to stop anyone else from grinding because I'm new and don't yet have set deliverables.

2. When I'm ready to go... I'm rets ta go. Sometimes if I'm really hungry on the weekends and out running errands, I'd rather go home than wait in line to get food. It's only going to be a 5-minute wait, but I want what I want when I want it. I think this is a personality challenge I need to overcome (but it also may be the reason I have everything that I want right now... #JustSaying)

3. Besides my first week when a couple of managers took me to lunch to get to know me, no one has really asked me to lunch either, so I'm assuming they ALSO want to do their own thing.

4. I have a bunch of friends who work in the loop and I'd rather go to lunch with them than new people.

So all of that background information to say: Am I rude for not inviting my coworkers to lunch? I feel kind of bad when I'm eating by myself and I see other folks coupled up. Not bad like "ooh, I'm alone." But bad like "I'm alone AND I LIKE IT!!!"

What do you all think? Am I overthinking lunch?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Death By Cubicle

I've never worked in a cubicle as a full-time employee before. It's SO WEIRD. Let me tell you about some of the things that I've noticed.

Background info: Our cubicles are large and clustered in private sets of 4.

Weirdness

1. People with offices take conference calls on speaker phones with their doors open. So not only do you have any office and I sit in the hallway, but you are STILL going to interrupt my workflow with that loudness, oh ok.

2. Sitting in a cubicle encourages fatness. I have bags of candy on my desk so that I can win friends and influence people. My coworker are always talking about the latest food crazes, Trader Joe's, Dunkin' Donuts and any other deliciousness that comes up. That makes me hungry... and I eat more.

3. Sitting in a cubicle makes me a nicer person. I speak to my cube mates when I get in and say good night when I leave out. I MAY or MAY NOT have done that when I had my own office depending on how I was feeling any given day. This is good.

4. When someone who's not a cube mate comes over to talk to a cube mate, they say hi to everyone and you're expected to join in the conversation. It's so odd. At my agency, it was like you tried like hell NOT to butt into the person's conversation.

5. No one uses headphones. I know I'm not the only person who finds that weird.

6. People walk up on you like they want to get got. I face a diagonal corner when I'm typing on my computer and people who want to talk to me are always quietly three steps off of the back of my head like ninjas. And I'm like 1. How did you get there without me hearing you and 2. BACK UP HOMIE !!!

7. I don't face any sunlight. It hasn't been a BIG deal so far, but I might put a photo of a beach or a sunset or something up if these stucco walls start to depress me. We shall see.

I think I'm adjusting quite nicely for someone who's never experienced a cage... oops, I mean a cubicle before.

What do your cube mates do that blows your mind?

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Apartment

I also say that I'm not picky. Everyone who knows me know that's a lie. It's not a bold-faced lie. When I say it, I really mean it, but it couldn't possibly be true.

I'm going apartment shopping this weekend and not a moment too soon since I want to move as close to possible to June 1. O_O

Here's what I want.

- One WHOLE bedroom
- In-unit washer/dryer

Here are the neighborhoods I'm considering
- Lakeview
- Old Town
- Gold Coast
- River North
- River West
- West Loop
- South Looop

Everything else is negotiable. In my head, I mean that. (Because I just assume that an apartment with an in-unit washer/dryer should not show signs of ratchetness. But my assumptions have been off before).

I'll let you all know what I find this weekend. Say a prayer that my eyes are not bigger than my wallet and that sales and clearances abound.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chasm


This is me.



Healthcare.
Prescription benefits.
Life Insurance.
401K.
IRA Rollover.
Non compete.
Tax exemptions.
Phone number.
Laptop.
E-mail.
Password.
Blackberry.
Password.
Employee number.
Cost center.
VPN fob.
Remote access (two different things)
Password.
Citrix download.
Citrix login.
Password.
SAP download.
SAP Access
Password.
EXPENSE REPORTS.

This is productivity at work.

Do you see how many things are standing in the way of me and productivity? As a new employee, you could really get bogged down with details. I'm already bff with the internal and external IT guys though, so I should be good to go.

Anyone else started a new job recently? I feel bad for older people in the workforce. Can you imagine your grandma trying to do all this paperwork and remember all these passwords? I couldn't.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Money and Such

These are some budget updates that are more or less a note to self vs. something you all need to know, but I'm trying hard not to completely fall off with content since I am already busy at work.

Transportation
I've been keeping tabs of my transportation budget for 2012. I figured that I probably spend a car note's worth of money on cabs, rental cars and zipcars and want to use the information I'm gathering to determine if it's time for me to buy a car or not. So far this year, I'm only spending about $100-$125 on transportation (not including my CTA bus pass). That's not a car note's worth, so I'm not getting a car or anything. But it's probably worth it to set that money aside as a line item in my budget. Probably. Maybe.

Lunch
I'm going to have to work lunch into my budget. At my old gig, I almost always got microwave meals for lunch and those were included in my grocery budget line item. I SOMETIMES went out for lunch. So my "sometimes going out" budget came out of general spending cash. If I'm going to take advantage of lunchtime offerings in the loop and spend $7-10 a day for lunch that can't come out of my general spending cash. NJo ma'ams and sirs. That's going to need it's own line item.


Clothes/Shoes/Fabulousness
I probably need a shopping line item too, but baby steps out here people.
 
Credit Card Update
It feels like an eternity since I paid off my credit cards, but it was seriously only four months ago. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I probably wasn't going to pay off my CC in April and I didn't. I'm also continuing to run that credit card up. What did I buy... a bunch of stuff on Ebay... a plane ticket... I'm probably about to put the security deposit and first month's rent and moving fees on my credit card because I want to keep the money I'm saving in my savings account. I'm on my way to the islands for vacation, then it's summertime Chi. I can't really see myself cutting back anytime soon.
 
MAYBE in the fall, when it gets cold, I will shut down spending and re-up on savings and pay down credit cards. I need to go back and read some of my old blog posts to inspire myself. Old habits die hard y'all. Pray for me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Work Fatness

So I work in the loop now instead of River North/Streeterville and you wouldn't think so, but the food options are MUCH better. And by better, I mean there are more Dunkin' Donuts than you can count, Burger King is close and eating out for lunch is not frowned upon in this establishment.

After starving myself to get into a crop top for my 90s birthday party, then NOT taking a week off in between jobs, I decided that I deserve to eat whatever I want for a week.

Mr. motivation was all on my case about eating donuts, sometimes two at a time, even after working out. Gotta love positive influences in my life.

Anywho, we also get a Corner Bakery box of goodness almost every day. I don't know if it's spillover from morning meetings or what, but I am all about these little bread boxes. I'm not even supposed to be eating bread. Bread has nothing to do with a flat stomach life.

I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm not working so hard that exercising is tough for me, but I can't imagine that I'm going to exercise every single day just so I can eat bread, cupcakes, donuts and delicious Burger King breakfast sandwiches.

I did, however, get oatmeal this week and I have high hopes of eating it every morning instead of Dunkin' Donuts. I have to come up with a sustainable plan (like eating Fiber One bars to stay full so I don't want the conference room junk food). What suggestions do you have for staying on a healthy eating plan at the gig? I'm all ears?

Monday, May 7, 2012

So Far, So Good...

So one week in, let me tell you about some perks of the new job.

10. I'm already getting to manage agencies (PR, digital, experiential) AND.I.LOVE.IT.
9. There's a Corner Bakery delivery here every morning. That beats continental breakfast on Friday.
8. The respect that people have for me and what I bring to the table is uncanny. We are all experts in our own right. They did a great job of choosing top talent in this place.
7. There are no soft drinks, but the coffee and tea choices are amazing. Illy cappuccino anyone?
6. There's a gym in my building (since 4 of these 10 are about food, I think a gym in the building is pretty clutch.)
5. I don't have to bill time. Everyone in client services should feel me right now.
4. The food options in the loop knock the food options in River North/Streeterville out of the park.
3. I get to go to lunch with all of my friends who work in the loop.
2. People here eat lunch. Simple, but so important.
1. I still hang out with my peeps from the agency. I went to happy hour with them last week and I plan on visiting the softball games. #Winning

Friday, May 4, 2012

So... Why Leave?

So you all know I loved my old gig. I raved about it on here and on Twitter. I was there 7.5 years. At a company that has high turnover, I was basically a grandmother at the organization. The people were amazing, the office was amazing, the perks were off the charts, the resources were outstanding. So, I know you're thinking, why leave?

Well, these are some of the things that I'm getting/some of the reasons I left.

10. Now I'm going to BE a client vs. catering to a client. How cool is that?
9. I've done a lot in my past role and learned a lot in an agency PR, so my unique set of skills and capabilities sets me up well to not just contribute, but to really move a new organization forward.
8. I have more responsiblity in my new position.
7. I [clearly] am taking a pay increase. Not that I need to explain why making more money is better, but let me give it try: being community minded, if I make more, I can help more. Being husband-minded, that DINK life is going to be so sweet. Being a bit selfish, I can save more, buy more and live better.
6. I wanted to work in the loop (this is just a lie, but it got me to 10. LOL!)
5. I needed a change of pace. 
4. I wanted a new challenges - One of my favorite quotes is "Comfort is the enemy of of achievement." I wholeheartedly belive that. I always want more. I'm thirsty for... EVERYTHING. So I think this will present another opportunity to challenge myself.
3. New challenges give birth to new opportunities - the sky is truly the limit. Being open to this new job is a testament of how I'm allowing myself to be open to all of the desires of my heart. 2012 is TRULY the year of never before. I'm embracing that. 
3. If I don't like it, I can always go back to my old job. They love me. I love them. It'll be like when you go off to college and come back. My mom let me right back into the house. Same Situation.
1. I prayed about it and this is the opportunity that God brought forth. Can't argue with that.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wait, I can't do THAT anymore?

When someone works at a job for 7.5 years, there's a level of comfort that is achieved. My former agency also has a very relaxed nature when it comes to corporate culture. I'd say we were pretty uptight when it came to deadlines, but that's neither here nor there.

So here are a few things that I do regularly that I'm going to have to work up to doing at my new gig (and/or stop doing all together).

10. Wearing jeans (or whatever the hell I want) to work.
9. Coming in at my leisure. We have flex time, so no one knows what time anyone else is supposed to be in the office. As long as you're not coming in at noon, you can pretty much come
8. Free soft drinks (I think my new gig has this too, but in case they don't I'm going to miss saving $1.99 everytime I go out to eat. It adds up.)
7. Working with people my age - I know I've taken that for granted, but having an office where the President of the Company is 40 and most people are younger than her really rocks, especially when you're fresh out of college.
6. Playing on the company softball team - I only played on the sports teams for a couple of years, but the comraderie was really amazing. I made some awesome friends and the free wings and beer post-games helped with that comraderie.
5. Serving on the diversity committee - The orgaization I'm going to is quite diverse and doesn't REALLY need an internal team of people talking about the business principles
4. Changing/applying make-up in the bathroom - When you work 60 hrs weeks and are in an office made up of women, it's pretty much understood that getting dressed in the bathroom for your next event is A-ok.
3. Drinking alcohol in the office - We're big on celebrating. St. Patrick's Day. Mardi Gras. Cubs opener. Lemonade Day. Tuesday. You name it, there was a celebration.
2. Manicure Mondays - I mentioned 60 hour weeks and 80% women right? Well... that means we need a way to stay pretty without leaving the office. Hence, manicure Mondays was formed.
1. An office with a door. LAWD, I'm going to a "death by cubicle establishment"

This list is so long and I could probably write another 10. So I know you're asking "Wait, why did you leave the new gig again?" Tune in tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

So when it's your last two days of work, you can take advantage of luxuries that you wouldn't generally take advantage of because you don't have ACTUAL work to do. Here's what I was on my last week of work

10. I enjoyed Sunday night.
9. I went to lunch. Imagine that.
8. I went to not one, but two 4-hour trainings.
7. I read all of the "FYI," and "Nice read" daily e-mails that I received
6. When people stopped by to chat, I welcomed this with open arms (vs. running out to my next meeting)
5. I went to all of the brainstorms I was invited to (I love brainstorms)
4. I read a lot more interesting articles and studies that I generally can when I have deliverables
3. I cleaned my desk.
2. I cleaned out my e-mail inbox.
1. I LEFT WORK ON TIME DAILY!!!

Oh man, what a week.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sneaking Around

Lying.
Dipping around corners.
Sweating palms.
Telling eyes.
Cheating.

That's what it feels like to interview for a new job. I'm always interviewing. not because I wanted so badly to leave, but because I need to make sure that I stay marketable. So when I made the decision to leave the PR agency, I just interviewed MORE than I usually do.

But my agency is casual dress. We wear jeans and hoodies to work. If you dress up you either have a client meeting, a happy hour situation after work, a date... something that has NOTHING to do with work.

I'm also a classic type of dresser. I think people interviewing should wear suits. I also recognize that I'm black and I'm a woman, so there are some biases that people are going to have, despite what I'm wearing. I don't want to add any fuel to discriminatory fire. I want to put my absolute best foot forward. I could be interviewing for a fast food restaurant and I would wear a suit. That's just who I am.

Ok, so not ONLY do I have to wear a suit, but "I" only have one suit. A black suit. Pants and a skirt to coordinate, but the skirt is too short for interviews. So I have one black pantsuit. Man, every single week, I'd put it in the cleaners and try to figure out what shirt to wear with it to make it look like I didn't wear the same thing to every interview.

I can't just walk into a PR agency where everyone looks like they're on their way to a college football game with a black pantsuit on. People would either think I was on the way to a funeral or KNOW that I was interviewing. Not cool. Sometimes I would wear a blazer with jeans. And sometimes I would wear black pants with a cardigan (to dress it down), but at some point I had to change my clothes. Get to the interview and get BACK to work without being found out.

So I changed my clothes in a bevy of places, a hotel bathroom, a hospital bathroom, the bathroom at Macy's. Do you know how weird it is to change your clothes in a Macy's bathroom? You're like LAWD, I hope no one sees me and I hope no one thinks I'm a woman of the night.

I'm glad I found a new job, so I don't have to feel like a cheater anymore. But I'm also glad that it's business casual, so that when I decide to interview again, my dipoffs don't make me feel like a cheater.